2018 Standard Mileage Rate Goes Up, IRS Announces

2018 standard mileage rate - IRS

The IRS has released the 2018 standard mileage rate, and it reflects a slight increase over 2017’s rate.  The Internal Revenue Service also set the standard mileage rate for medical and moving purposes.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the IRS standard mileage rate for cars, vans, pickups or panel trucks will be:

  • 54.5 cents per mile driven for business, up 1 cent from 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, also up 1 cent from 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. (The charitable rate is set by statute and does not change.)

The standard mileage rate offers an easy way to calculate deductible costs of operating a motor vehicle for business purposes.

The IRS calculates its standard mileage rate based on an annual study by an outside firm of both fixed and variable costs connected to operating a vehicle.  It averages the cost of owning and operating a vehicle. The fluctuations in the mileage rate from year to year are based on a variety of factors.

The 2018 standard mileage rate applies to miles driven on or after January 1, 2018. For miles driven in earlier years, use the mileage rate in effect at that time.

Actual Costs vs Standard Mileage Rate for 2018

As a taxpayer, you do not have to use the IRS standard mileage rate for deducting business vehicle use.  You can opt instead to calculate the actual costs of operating your vehicle for business.  However, the IRS  says you must “maintain adequate records or other sufficient evidence” of those costs.

In other words, it will take more recordkeeping to track your actual expenses. The standard mileage rate is easier for most business owners to use, because all you have to keep track of are  miles driven and business purpose — not every expense for your vehicle.  That’s why many small businesses use the standard mileage rate to deduct business use of a vehicle whenever possible.

Mileage Reimbursement for Employees

The standard mileage rate can also be used to substantiate the reimbursement rate to employees for miles driven using their personal vehicle for business purposes.  Many employers choose to adopt the IRS standard mileage rate as the amount of mileage reimbursement.  However, employers may choose a different reimbursement rate other than the IRS standard mileage rate.  Some employers (a small number) may offer no reimbursement at all.

Many employers either issue a memo or add a reference in their employee handbook stating they provide reimbursement and the rate of reimbursement.  Employers should remember to adopt and communicate the new rate, if they typically track the IRS’s standard mileage figure.

Let’s suppose you choose to reimburse employees at the standard mileage rate that’s in effect for the year.  In that case, for miles driven during 2018 you would reimburse employees at a rate of 54.5 cents per mile.

To calculate the reimbursement, ask employees to document the miles driven for business purposes. Then simply multiply the miles the employee has driven by the reimbursement rate. If the total miles driven are 10,000, you multiply by $0.545 to reach $5,450 in reimbursement.

Following The IRS Mileage Rules

There is such a thing as mileage fraud, and the IRS is very strict when it comes to evaluating the information you provide. This is why you should keep very detailed and accurate records of your driving.

The IRS recommends taxpayers become familiar with the tax law and not overstate adjustments, deductions, exemptions and credits.

You cannot use the standard mileage rate if you:

  • Use the car for hire (such as a taxi).
  • Use five or more cars at the same time (as in fleet operations).
  • Claim depreciation or a section 179 deduction (Publication 463, Chapter 4).
  • Are a rural mail carrier who receives a qualified reimbursement (Publication 463, Chapter 4).
  • Use the actual expenses method.

The IRS’s announcement of the 2018 standard mileage rate can be found here (PDF).  It also includes the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate. And it includes the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan.

Related Resources:

2017 standard mileage rate (for miles driven in 2017)

This article, "2018 Standard Mileage Rate Goes Up, IRS Announces" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

2018 Standard Mileage Rate Goes Up, IRS Announces

2018 standard mileage rate - IRS

The IRS has released the 2018 standard mileage rate, and it reflects a slight increase over 2017’s rate.  The Internal Revenue Service also set the standard mileage rate for medical and moving purposes.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the IRS standard mileage rate for cars, vans, pickups or panel trucks will be:

  • 54.5 cents per mile driven for business, up 1 cent from 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, also up 1 cent from 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. (The charitable rate is set by statute and does not change.)

The standard mileage rate offers an easy way to calculate deductible costs of operating a motor vehicle for business purposes.

The IRS calculates its standard mileage rate based on an annual study by an outside firm of both fixed and variable costs connected to operating a vehicle.  It averages the cost of owning and operating a vehicle. The fluctuations in the mileage rate from year to year are based on a variety of factors.

The 2018 standard mileage rate applies to miles driven on or after January 1, 2018. For miles driven in earlier years, use the mileage rate in effect at that time.

Actual Costs vs Standard Mileage Rate for 2018

As a taxpayer, you do not have to use the IRS standard mileage rate for deducting business vehicle use.  You can opt instead to calculate the actual costs of operating your vehicle for business.  However, the IRS  says you must “maintain adequate records or other sufficient evidence” of those costs.

In other words, it will take more recordkeeping to track your actual expenses. The standard mileage rate is easier for most business owners to use, because all you have to keep track of are  miles driven and business purpose — not every expense for your vehicle.  That’s why many small businesses use the standard mileage rate to deduct business use of a vehicle whenever possible.

Mileage Reimbursement for Employees

The standard mileage rate can also be used to substantiate the reimbursement rate to employees for miles driven using their personal vehicle for business purposes.  Many employers choose to adopt the IRS standard mileage rate as the amount of mileage reimbursement.  However, employers may choose a different reimbursement rate other than the IRS standard mileage rate.  Some employers (a small number) may offer no reimbursement at all.

Many employers either issue a memo or add a reference in their employee handbook stating they provide reimbursement and the rate of reimbursement.  Employers should remember to adopt and communicate the new rate, if they typically track the IRS’s standard mileage figure.

Let’s suppose you choose to reimburse employees at the standard mileage rate that’s in effect for the year.  In that case, for miles driven during 2018 you would reimburse employees at a rate of 54.5 cents per mile.

To calculate the reimbursement, ask employees to document the miles driven for business purposes. Then simply multiply the miles the employee has driven by the reimbursement rate. If the total miles driven are 10,000, you multiply by $0.545 to reach $5,450 in reimbursement.

Following The IRS Mileage Rules

There is such a thing as mileage fraud, and the IRS is very strict when it comes to evaluating the information you provide. This is why you should keep very detailed and accurate records of your driving.

The IRS recommends taxpayers become familiar with the tax law and not overstate adjustments, deductions, exemptions and credits.

You cannot use the standard mileage rate if you:

  • Use the car for hire (such as a taxi).
  • Use five or more cars at the same time (as in fleet operations).
  • Claim depreciation or a section 179 deduction (Publication 463, Chapter 4).
  • Are a rural mail carrier who receives a qualified reimbursement (Publication 463, Chapter 4).
  • Use the actual expenses method.

The IRS’s announcement of the 2018 standard mileage rate can be found here (PDF).  It also includes the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate. And it includes the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan.

Related Resources:

2017 standard mileage rate (for miles driven in 2017)

This article, "2018 Standard Mileage Rate Goes Up, IRS Announces" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017: Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board

The Biz2Credit Small Business Index for November 2017 revealed an across-the-board increase in the business loan approval rates for bank and non-bank lenders. According to the study, there were record highs with every category of lenders, showing improvements for the month.

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017

The approval rates for small businesses was at 25.1 percent at big banks, while institutional lenders reported 64.1 percent, both new highs for November. As for small banks, there was also a rise of one-tenth of one percent to 49 percent from the 48.9 percent of October.

Key economic indicators, as well as optimism with President Trump’s tax reform plan, deregulation in the banking industry, and higher interest rates, are in part responsible for the uptick in small business lending.

In addressing some of the reasoning behind the higher numbers, Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, said in a press release, “The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates from their historic lows, and regulation of the banking industry is subsiding under Trump. Banks both large and small are more likely to lend under the current atmosphere.”

The Biz2Credit Small Business Index is based on primary data which is submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who have applied for loans on Biz2Credit’s online lending platform. This platform connects business borrowers and lenders, which gives the data that comes from the index an added level of reliability and immediacy for its monthly reports. The company analyzes loan requests ranging from $25,000 to $3 million.

Other Lenders

The November index also reported alternative lenders saw an increase of one-tenth of one percent. For this particular segment, it was a great improvement because alternative lenders have experienced consecutive declines lasting more than one year. November’s number was 56.9 percent compared to October’s 56.8 percent.

For credit unions, also going through record lows in October, the approval rate was 40.3 percent for November — also an increase.

Take Away for Small Businesses

Whether you are just starting out or an established small business owner, this is a good time to start thinking about getting a loan. According to Arora, there is pent-up demand for small business credit in the marketplace. He goes on to say, businesses can take advantage of the current environment because it is less challenging to secure funding.

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017: Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the BoardImages: Biz2Credit.com

This article, "Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017: Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board

The Biz2Credit Small Business Index for November 2017 revealed an across-the-board increase in the business loan approval rates for bank and non-bank lenders. According to the study, there were record highs with every category of lenders, showing improvements for the month.

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017

The approval rates for small businesses was at 25.1 percent at big banks, while institutional lenders reported 64.1 percent, both new highs for November. As for small banks, there was also a rise of one-tenth of one percent to 49 percent from the 48.9 percent of October.

Key economic indicators, as well as optimism with President Trump’s tax reform plan, deregulation in the banking industry, and higher interest rates, are in part responsible for the uptick in small business lending.

In addressing some of the reasoning behind the higher numbers, Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, said in a press release, “The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates from their historic lows, and regulation of the banking industry is subsiding under Trump. Banks both large and small are more likely to lend under the current atmosphere.”

The Biz2Credit Small Business Index is based on primary data which is submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who have applied for loans on Biz2Credit’s online lending platform. This platform connects business borrowers and lenders, which gives the data that comes from the index an added level of reliability and immediacy for its monthly reports. The company analyzes loan requests ranging from $25,000 to $3 million.

Other Lenders

The November index also reported alternative lenders saw an increase of one-tenth of one percent. For this particular segment, it was a great improvement because alternative lenders have experienced consecutive declines lasting more than one year. November’s number was 56.9 percent compared to October’s 56.8 percent.

For credit unions, also going through record lows in October, the approval rate was 40.3 percent for November — also an increase.

Take Away for Small Businesses

Whether you are just starting out or an established small business owner, this is a good time to start thinking about getting a loan. According to Arora, there is pent-up demand for small business credit in the marketplace. He goes on to say, businesses can take advantage of the current environment because it is less challenging to secure funding.

Biz2Credit Lending Index November 2017: Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the BoardImages: Biz2Credit.com

This article, "Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

9 Proven Tactics of a Successful Local Facebook Marketing Strategy

With 2.2 billion active users, it might seem like turning followers into paying customers on Facebook would be easy. At least a few of those users will want what you’re selling ... right? Unfortunately, targeting a local market on Facebook is a little more challenging than that.

Building a local Facebook marketing strategy is challenging, but extremely rewarding when executed correctly. Here are nine proven Facebook marketing tactics you can use to drive foot traffic, build brand awareness, and increase revenue potential.

9 Tactics for Your Local Facebook Marketing Strategy

1. Share Reviews

Standing out can be difficult when you’re surrounded by hundreds of other businesses all vying for attention. The key often lies in using social proof. People trust businesses that can prove what they say is true -- especially if that proof comes from a customer.

Here are two review tactics we use:

  • Share screenshots of positive reviews from other social sites.
  • Ask customers to share the experience they’ve had with your business.

Screenshot positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+, and then share them on your Facebook page. Tag the reviewer’s business in your post with a sincere “Thank you,”, or just happily boast that you have the best customers. Sharing screenshots of emails from happy customers works too, just be sure you ask permission first.

mage-1.png

If you’re just starting out and your business doesn’t have any reviews yet, give your audience an incentive to leave positive feedback. Ask your followers how their last experience was at your business. Offer a product giveaway to the first five people that leave a comment describing why they love your company. Even if you don’t get an official Facebook review, someone will probably comment on their experience. That’s social proof.

2. Create an Event

Having a live band perform at your restaurant this weekend or throwing a big sale at your retail store? Facebook events are a great way to notify your followers and generate some buzz for your business. Even if people can't attend in person, it shows that your business is actively engaged with the community.

Creating an event on your Facebook page is easy. First, navigate to the “Events” tab.

Select the blue “Create Event” button.

Fill in the details:

  • Date and time
  • Event category
  • Event keywords
  • A link to the ticketing website

Finally, add a compelling photo, and you’re good to go.

mage-4.png

A few tips to improve the reach of your Facebook event:

  • Add directions or a map to make it easy for people to find your event.
  • Invite up to 500 people.
  • Share your event and/or promote it as an ad.

3. Use Groups

Groups offer a wide variety of local Facebook marketing advantages. Some of the best include:

  • Listing and selling products
  • Building a community
  • Establishing expertise
  • Networking
  • Offering great customer service

The possibilities for creating and managing a group on Facebook are only limited by your imagination. Groups are the perfect place to create a controlled community within your target audience. As the admin of the group, you can approve or reject all posts, accept or block members, and direct the commentary.

Groups allow you to build a micro-community that is hyper-focused on the subject of your choosing. For example, a business that sells laptop cases could create an entire Facebook group centered around laptop cases and their various uses, the best kinds, how to determine product quality, and humorous customer stories.

4. Share Local Content

One thing that’s consistent across Facebook is that people love to celebrate local pride. Align your business with famous events, history, people, landmarks, sayings, and other nuances that are part of your city’s identity. Share content from local organizations that captures the essence of your locale and will interest to your audience.

mage-5.png

These are examples of good local content topics:

  • 13 Things Keeping Austin Weird
  • How Boston’s “R”-less Accent Became So Famous
  • The Best Festivals to Attend this Summer in San Diego

Make your Facebook page an extension of the culture and traditions surrounding your location.

5. Mention Local Businesses, Events, and Groups

If you’re looking for ways to build engagement and gain traction, tag accounts that share content which aligns with your audience’s interests. As with all things on social media, tagging can be overdone, so don’t start tagging pages in every post. Rather, choose the ones that will have the greatest impact and provide value to your audience.

Tagging is another great way to support local marketing efforts. Build hype for an event your company is hosting using a Facebook live video, or showcase company culture with a group photo at the next conference you attend. One word of caution: if you decide to try Facebook live, write a script. The last thing you want to do is live-stream without a plan.

In addition to page tags, groups can also be tagged. This is especially effective when you’re attending industry events or working on collaborations. Athletic wear brands, such as Puma, do an exceptional job promoting their collaborations on Facebook.

6. Tag Locations & Events

I’m not talking about tagging your latest check-in at Olive Garden, I’m talking about event marketing, company outings, and business development trips. Manning a booth at Comic-Con? Post a group picture that tags the event and location. Taking the team out for someone’s Birthday lunch? Tag the location and upload a boomerang. Checking out your latest digital billboard downtown? Tag the location and upload a picture.

Add some variety to your Facebook page by tagging locations and show off your company’s personality at the same time.

7. Run a Contest

Everybody likes to win things. There are many different ways to run a Facebook contest. The two most popular include hosting a promotion on a Facebook app or on your Page’s Timeline.

Pay close attention to Facebook’s content rules because disregarding them could get your contest shutdown. Here are just a few things you can’t do:

  • You can’t require participants to share a page or post on your Timeline to enter
  • You can’t require participants to like a page to enter
  • You can’t require participants to tag themselves in pictures to enter

The list goes on. Review a thorough breakdown of what you can and can’t do when running a Facebook contest here. Helpful hint: even though you can’t require page likes, photo tagging, and timeline posting, you can still encourage the audience to complete those actions.

8. Encourage Foot Traffic

Retail companies often struggle to make Facebook work in their favor. The biggest problem is getting people online to come into the store. Here are a few tips to start turning Facebook followers into foot traffic that have revenue potential:

  • Create polls and contests centered on popular products and their uses
  • Run regular in-store events your customers are interested in
  • Promote in-store coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes
  • Build a shop directly on Facebook where your customers can purchase your products
  • Align your page with causes your audience cares about

Think of Facebook as your marketing email and your store as the landing page. In order to get people from the digital universe to visit your physical business, you need to have a compelling message and offer they can’t refuse. For example, if there’s a large sales conference in town you could create a set of Facebook ads that are focused on the area surrounding the conference center and targets sales professionals over the age of 21. Offer a lunch discount and provide all the details they need to make a quick meal grab before heading to their next session.

9. On-Site Promotion of Your Facebook Page

Try to convert the foot traffic your business attracts into online brand advocates. Use signage, receipts, business cards, flyers, coupons and more to ask for page likes, check-ins, reviews, and posts on your Facebook Timeline.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Give away a $200 gift card that requires participants to post a picture taken in front of a branded mural, sign, or display that tags your Facebook page.
  • Offer a 20% off discount for everyone who checks-in at your store on a Wednesday.

Executing successful Facebook local marketing tactics requires consistent testing and experimentation. What works for a retail business might not work for a restaurant, and vice versa.

Take the time to figure out what your audience responds to the best and what generates the most business for your company through Facebook. Successful Facebook local marketing can take time. Be patient, detail oriented and persistent.

 

 



via Business Feeds

A decade after it hit, what was learnt from the Great Recession?

TEN years ago this month, America entered the “Great Recession”. A decade on, the recession occupies a strange space in public memory. Its toll was clearly large. America suffered a cumulative loss of output estimated at nearly $4trn, and its labour markets have yet to recover fully. But the recession was far less bad than it might have been, thanks to the successful application of lessons from the Depression. Paradoxically, that success spared governments from enacting bolder reforms of the sort that might make the Great Recession the once-a-century event economists thought such calamities should be.

Good crisis response treats its symptoms; the symptoms of a disease, after all, can kill you. On that score today’s policymakers did far better than those of the 1930s. Government budgets have become a much larger share of the economy, thanks partly to the rise of the modern social safety net. Consequently, public borrowing and spending on benefits did far more to stabilise the economy than they did during the Depression. Policymakers stepped in to prevent the extraordinary collapse in prices and incomes experienced in the 1930s. They also kept banking panics from spreading, which would have amplified the pain of the downturn. Though unpopular, the decision to bail out the financial system prevented the implosion of the global economy.

But the success of...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

The markets’ apparent calm over Brexit is deceptive

FOR all the sound and fury of the Brexit negotiations, it has seemed at times as if the financial markets have been barely affected. But as with the swans that glide on the Thames, a serene surface conceals some frantic paddling underneath.

The pound is the most reliable indicator of the Brexit mood. A rule of thumb is that, if the headlines point to a “hard” Brexit (creating trade barriers with the EU), sterling will fall; signs of a “soft” Brexit (something that is close to the current relationship) will cause it to rise.

But some feedback processes are at work. The big fall in the pound in the immediate aftermath of the referendum has led to a gradual rise in imported inflation. The annual inflation rate hit 3.1% in November, requiring Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, to write to Philip Hammond, the chancellor, to explain why the target (of 2%) had been missed. The bank has already raised interest rates once. More rises may follow, and expectation of such rises supports the pound.

The need for monetary tightening is not simply a result of higher import costs, which might prove temporary. More worryingly, the Bank thinks that the trend rate of growth of the British economy has fallen (a view it shares with the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s forecasting arm). In part, this is because Britain faces a more...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Will America’s economy overheat in 2018?

USUALLY politicians pretend that good economic news on their watch is no surprise. But America’s recent growth figures have been so positive that even the administration of President Donald Trump has allowed itself to marvel. “It’s actually happening faster than we expected,” mused Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget chief, in September, after growth rose to 3.1% in the second quarter. (Mr Trump in fact came to office promising 4% growth, but the goal now seems to be 3%.) Mr Mulvaney warned that hurricanes would soon bring growth back down. Instead, in the third quarter, it rose to 3.3%—a figure celebrated with more conviction. The administration’s initial caution was wise: quarterly growth figures are volatile, and few economists expect growth above 3% to carry on for long. Yet there is no denying that the economy is in rude health.

In part, that reflects the strength of the global economy. But it is also the culmination of a years-long trend. As politics has consumed America’s...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Bitcoin-futures contracts create as many risks as they mitigate

OFTEN promoted as a way of mitigating risk, futures contracts are frequently more like new ways of gambling. That was true of a close precursor to the instrument, introduced in the Netherlands in 1636, linked to the hot investment of the day—tulip bulbs. Likewise the world’s first two futures contracts linked to bitcoin. One launched on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) on December 10th; the other was due to follow a week later on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

As bitcoin’s price has soared to new highs (see chart), holders may be happy to have a way to hedge their exposure at last. But for many, the contracts are just another way in. Both contracts settle in cash (ie, for the difference between the agreed price and the actual spot price). No exchange of bitcoin is needed; similarly, in the Dutch precedent, no bulbs were involved.

Early trading on the CBOE certainly suggests a speculative market. In the first few hours, prices rose so quickly that trading twice had to be suspended. The contract has so far traded at a significant premium, of up to $2,000, to the spot price. This suggests there are more buyers than sellers—even though selling in the futures market offers a way to bet against bitcoin.

...


via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Cars, jewels, wine and watches have been good investments

DIAMONDS, they say, are for ever. They can be pricey, too. On December 5th 173 lots of jewels auctioned by Sotheby’s raised $54m. They included several pieces belonging to Sean Connery, known for playing James Bond. The following day a car favoured by Bond, the Aston Martin DB5, was auctioned for $2.7m. It was among 24 classic vehicles that together fetched $45m. The sales in New York last week by the world’s two biggest auction houses, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, also involved fine wines, watches and other luxuries. Between them they sold $200m-worth.

The Economist has compiled price indices for many of these items—diamonds, classic cars, fine wine, art, watches and other curios—and grouped them in a “passion” index. The index is weighted according to the holdings of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI)—defined as people with more than $1m of investable assets—as reported by Barclays. Our passion index has dropped by 2% a year, on average, for the past three years...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

China’s leading economists are in high demand and short supply

EVERGRANDE, a Chinese property firm, is a big spender. It was until recently the country’s most indebted developer. It also owns a football club with one of the highest payrolls in China. It has extended its largesse to a new field: economics. Having founded an economic-research institute, Evergrande last month poached Ren Zeping, a star analyst with a big brokerage, to serve as its first chief economist. His annual salary of 15m yuan ($2.3m) is, based on available information, the highest ever for an economist in China. Not bad for a country where forecasting the official growth figures accurately has for years required little more research than reading the official growth targets.

Yet Evergrande is not alone in splashing cash in China, whether in property, football or, lately, economics. Competition for the best—or, rather, best-known—economists is fierce. The past half year alone has resembled a frenzied transfer window for their services. Besides Mr Ren, half a dozen...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

The revised Basel bank-capital standards are complete at last

HOWEVER long a storm lasts, clearing up takes longer. On December 7th Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank and head of the committee that approves global bank-capital standards, declared that revisions to Basel 3, the version drawn up after the financial crisis of 2007-08, were complete. The overhaul of the previous rules, which were blown away in the tempest, began eight years ago. The revised set, informally called Basel 4, will not take full effect until 2027.

That lengthy period of adjustment is one way in which Basel 4 is less demanding than banks, notably in Europe, had feared. Several other tweaks mean that the standards banks must eventually meet will be less exacting than first proposed. Already forced to bolster their balance-sheets with lots more equity—of which the crisis showed them to be woefully short—banks may deny that they have got off lightly. But they probably have.

Basel 4 was supposed to be settled a year ago. It wasn’t, because...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

The WTO remains stuck in its rut

“THERE is life after Buenos Aires,” soothed Susana Malcorra, chair of the 11th ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Multilateralism may not be dead, but it has taken a kicking. Expectations were low as the meeting began in the Argentine capital. They sank even lower as it progressed. Delegates failed to agree on a joint statement, let alone on any new trade deals.

Many arrived with a culprit already in mind. Robert Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative, was the face of an administration that is both questioning the benefits of multilateralism and jamming the WTO’s process of settling disputes. As negotiations progressed, some delegates groused that American leadership was lacking. Some even speculated that the Americans might be happy if multilateral talks foundered. What better proof, after all, that the system is broken?

Ms Malcorra, without mentioning the Americans by name, warned against creating scapegoats out of...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Oil and gas supply disruptions ripple around the world

The Baumgarten blast

CALL it the hydrocarbon equivalent of the butterfly effect. As oil and gas supplies tighten during the northern winter, disruptions as remote as a hairline fracture on a piece of Scottish pipeline, and an explosion in an Austrian natural-gas plant, have repercussions felt around the world.

Start with the pipeline. After Ineos, a chemicals company, detected a growing crack on a piece of pipe near Aberdeen, on December 11th it said it would shut the main Forties pipeline carrying North Sea oil and gas to Britain for weeks. The suspension of a pipeline carrying 450,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude, in a global market of almost 98m b/d, would not normally be disruptive. Yet Brent crude, the benchmark for pricing much of the world’s seaborne crude, is itself partly priced on the flow of crude from 80 fields that feed the Forties pipeline, magnifying the impact.

Futures prices for Brent crude delivered in February...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

How Does Following Hashtags on Instragram Change Your Social Media Strategy?

Following Hashtags on Instagram is Now Possible

You can now follow hashtags on Instagram. What exactly does that mean for the way you engage with your customers and track your social media marketing?

Being able to follow hashtags is going to make it easier to identify and discover brands, images, videos, people and businesses on Instagram. This will make it possible to find and connect with the many different communities and interests on the platform.

The ability to identify what is on Instagram using hashtags is more important now because the number of users is increasing at a very rapid rate. As of September 2017, Instagram had 800 monthly and 500 million daily active users. Going through all of those users without using hashtags can be a never-ending endeavor. From now on, when any one of them creates or shares something, the hashtags they use can be searched and followed.

How Do You Follow a Hashtag?

According to the blog announcing the new feature, following a hashtag is the same as following a friend on Instagram. Once you find the right hashtag, open the page and tap on the follow button.

Whenever they post anything with the hashtag, you will receive top posts from them in your feed as well as the latest stories in your stories bar. Unfollowing is just as easy. All you do is tap the unfollow button. 

Following Hashtags on Instagram is Now Possible

Using Hashtags for Your Small Business

If you don’t know what a hashtag is, it is basically a label to identify the content posted on social media sites. You can create hashtags for the products, services, videos, images and more your business provides so your customers can find them easily.

When you create a hashtag, make it your own brand so other people will start using it. This drives more people to your page and gives your company more recognition. And don’t forget to include it on all of your digital and physical properties. This includes email, website, other social media pages, your physical store and even the bumper of your car.

Once you create your hashtag, don’t forget to track the performance so you can improve or replicate it for future promotions.

Images: Instagram

This article, "How Does Following Hashtags on Instragram Change Your Social Media Strategy?" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

How Does Following Hashtags on Instragram Change Your Social Media Strategy?

Following Hashtags on Instagram is Now Possible

You can now follow hashtags on Instagram. What exactly does that mean for the way you engage with your customers and track your social media marketing?

Being able to follow hashtags is going to make it easier to identify and discover brands, images, videos, people and businesses on Instagram. This will make it possible to find and connect with the many different communities and interests on the platform.

The ability to identify what is on Instagram using hashtags is more important now because the number of users is increasing at a very rapid rate. As of September 2017, Instagram had 800 monthly and 500 million daily active users. Going through all of those users without using hashtags can be a never-ending endeavor. From now on, when any one of them creates or shares something, the hashtags they use can be searched and followed.

How Do You Follow a Hashtag?

According to the blog announcing the new feature, following a hashtag is the same as following a friend on Instagram. Once you find the right hashtag, open the page and tap on the follow button.

Whenever they post anything with the hashtag, you will receive top posts from them in your feed as well as the latest stories in your stories bar. Unfollowing is just as easy. All you do is tap the unfollow button. 

Following Hashtags on Instagram is Now Possible

Using Hashtags for Your Small Business

If you don’t know what a hashtag is, it is basically a label to identify the content posted on social media sites. You can create hashtags for the products, services, videos, images and more your business provides so your customers can find them easily.

When you create a hashtag, make it your own brand so other people will start using it. This drives more people to your page and gives your company more recognition. And don’t forget to include it on all of your digital and physical properties. This includes email, website, other social media pages, your physical store and even the bumper of your car.

Once you create your hashtag, don’t forget to track the performance so you can improve or replicate it for future promotions.

Images: Instagram

This article, "How Does Following Hashtags on Instragram Change Your Social Media Strategy?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds